Barring a dramatic change, Yvonne Jones will add Member Of Parliament to her long list of accomplishments tomorrow.
Jones became the mayor of her home town, Mary's Harbour in the early 1990's. After an unsuccessful attempt to defeat incumbent M.H.A Danny Dumarsque for the Liberal nomination in 1996, she went rogue. Her keen political senses indicated that the two term MHA, who was Parliamentary Assistant to than Premier Clyde Wells, could be beaten. She ran as an independent and the voters backed her over the Liberal Candidate. She went on to represent Cartwright - L'anse au Clair in the House of Assembly until the Spring of 2013, resigning to represent the Liberal Party of Canada in tomorrow's by-election.
She is no stranger to controversy or adversary. Over the past seventeen years she has successfully fended off changes to her nomination, became the first and only female NL Fisheries Minister, became the first female leader of the Provincial Liberal Party and survived breast cancer.
While I had reservations about Yvonne's tactical approach to securing the nomination in this current race, there was not much doubt that this political war horse was going to paint Labrador red - once again. Despite disgraced former Conservative Minister Peter Penashue's desperate attempts to define Jones as a selfish "double-dipper" every poll shows she is way ahead.
As dirty and personal as the campaign has gotten, Peter the Cheater has only been racing to the bottom. The people of the Big Land can not be bought by the politics of division and self-interest which the Harper Conservatives have been using to lure support to their cause for the past decade. Cuts to E.I., Search and Rescue, a failure to address the legitimate claims of Nunatukavut and mixed support for the proposed Lower Churchill Project have contributed to a definitive anti-Harper vote in Labrador.
While I think that this has been a campaign based on local issues and personalities, much will be made of the result. I thought the NDP had a shot at making this by-election competitive,however it appears not to be the case.
A win will give new Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau momentum. It will act to fan the fires of Trudeuamania and signal the inevitable demise of Harper as leader of the Conservative Party. Harper stood by Peter the Cheater. The rejection of the Prime Minister's ally, former cabinet minister and his only M.P. from Newfoundland and Labrador, will be seen as a signal that it is time to move on and pass the torch of leadership to someone capable of taking on Trudeau.
The NDP, who had high hopes of being the spoiler, will be disappointed. While this is simply a traditionally Liberal seat going back to fold, Canadian's may see it as a rejection of the NDP as the alternative to the Conservative Party as governors. Many may feel that the protest is over and return to the Liberal Party feeding the resurrection of the so called "natural governing party"
Yvonne Jones, the calculated political savant poised to deliver her leader his first seat, tangible proof of a shift in the political landscape that will shake both the foundations of the Conservative and New Democrats.